OTA Says 91 Workers Killed In Oklahoma Work Zones In The Past 5 Years

News 9 - September 1, 2022 6:45 am

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is once again warning drivers to pay attention in work zones after a driver hit some of their workers over the weekend.

OTA said 91 people have been killed in work zones in the past five years.

It’s now state law that if you see anyone on the side of the road with flashing lights, you must move over. If you can’t do that, you have to slow down.

But OHP said that didn’t happen in this case.

Three OTA workers were hurt Saturday after Oklahoma Highway Patrol said an inattentive driver slammed into their truck in Mayes County.

“People feel pretty invincible in their vehicles most of the time, but you’ve just always got to be aware of those around you and what’s happening in or near your vehicle,” said Lisa Shearer-Salim with OTA.

She said the workers were in a truck following crews who were mowing, to keep the crews safe.

“It absolutely did its job, probably lessened the severity of what could have been a terrible crash, so we’re grateful for that safety technique working,” she said.

There have been 8,000 crashes in work zones on highways, interstates, and turnpikes in Oklahoma in the past five years.

There’s three main causes people die in work zones; speeding, distracted driving, and following too closely.

“Unfortunately motorist are far more often to be the fatality versus, instead of workers even though we do have some workers killed on the job unfortunately,” she said.

She said workers want drivers to pay attention because their lives depend on it.

“They have a family waiting for them at home, they have a job to do, they are just trying to do their work to the best of their ability, and as safely as possible,” she said.

She said while the drivers in Saturday’s wreck were hurt, they will make a full recovery.


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